Executive Brief

Regional Director of the Southwest
Birthright Israel Foundation

The Organization - Birthright Israel Foundation

Birthright Israel Foundation is an organization dedicated to raising funds in the United States to support Birthright Israel and its various programs, including the classic 10-day trip, Onward, and Excel. Birthright Israel was founded on the belief that attendees return home with new ideas about Israel, its people, and their place in the Jewish story. It is the birthright of all young Jews to visit their ancestral homeland and thus forge a connection to their heritage and their community that can last a lifetime. Since its founding, Birthright Israel has sent over 800,000 young adults on this transformational trip.

Birthright Israel aims to ensure a vibrant future of the Jewish people by strengthening Jewish identity, Jewish communities and connections with Israel.

Not only did this free trip to Israel connect me to the Jewish community, but it opened my eyes for the first time to earnestly learn about Jewish beliefs, culture, and traditions. What I once assumed was an antiquated religion, I now see for its long history of perseverance, progression, and universal wisdom. … I walked away from Israel as a proud Jewish man with a long, bright future ahead of me.

Connor Jacobson, Birthright Israel Alumnus, 2020

Leadership Spotlights

Elias Saratovsky - President & CEO

President & CEO

Elias Saratovsky serves as President & CEO of the Birthright Israel Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising funds in the United States to support Birthright Israel and its various programs, including the classic 10-day trip, Onward, and Excel.

As an alumnus of the program’s inaugural trip in December 1999, Elias understands first-hand the transformational power of Birthright Israel and attributes his career in the Jewish and Israel space to his experience on the trip. As President & CEO, Elias is committed to ensuring Birthright Israel continues to flourish, building a generation of Jewish young adults who have confidence and pride in being Jewish and are proud of their connection to Israel.

Prior to joining Birthright Israel Foundation, Elias spent over 20 years in a variety of senior leadership roles at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Elias previously served as Pacific Northwest Political Director at AIPAC’s San Francisco office before becoming Director of AIPAC’s Southwest Region, based in Houston TX, where he managed a portfolio of seven states and 64 congressional districts. Most recently, Elias served as AIPAC’s National Director for Regional Affairs in Washington, DC, where he oversaw the organization’s nine regional offices and worked with his colleagues to maximize the national development campaign through strengthening donor engagement and expanding stewardship efforts across the country.

Elias is a native of Brooklyn, NY. He currently lives in Bethesda, MD with his wife and three children.

Jessica R. Feldan - Chief Development Officer

Jessica R. Feldan
Chief Development Officer

Jessica is the Chief Development Officer at the Birthright Foundation since 2017. Before joining the foundation, she has dedicated over 30 years working in development in the Jewish communal arena. From 2004-2017 she was the Associate VP of the Southeast for the American Technion Society (ATS). During this time, she helped the ATS achieve its $1.2 billion-dollar campaign goal and launch a new $1.5 billion-dollar campaign. As the AVP of the Southeast Region, she supervised a staff that partnered with the University, lay board, and donors, to help facilitate the building of student dorms, funding research, providing students with scholarships, supplying necessary research equipment, and furthering student access to services that have enabled them to achieve their goals and impact Israeli society.

Jessica began her career at the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. She joined the UJA, later to become the Jewish Federations of North America in 1994. She served as director of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County's Women's Division prior to joining the American Technion Society.

Jessica and her husband David have three children: Avi, who is a graduate of Brandeis University and currently works in finance, Eliana, who lives in Israel with her family and Daniel, a Phd student at NYU. Currently she lives on the upper east side of Manhattan.

Jessica is a graduate of Yeshiva University and earned her master's from Yeshiva’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

Allyson Berman Greenbaum - Vice President, Central Region

Vice President, Central Region

Allyson Greenbaum has served as the Vice President of the Central Region for Birthright Israel Foundation since 2018. Prior to joining Birthright Israel Foundation, Allyson spent over 16 years in leadership roles in Higher Education. She most recently served as the Director of Major Gifts at Northwestern University, where she led a regional development team that helped to close the University’s historic $6 billion campaign. Allyson also raised major and planned gifts at the University of Chicago and was part of a team that surpassed its $2 billion capital campaign goal.

Allyson was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and has called the Chicago area home for the last 21 years. She and her husband David are proud parents to Leah and Dylan.  

The Position - Regional Director of the Southwest

Position Summary:

BRIF seeks a proven, goal-oriented, dynamic, and inspiring development professional to serve as Regional Director of the Southwest. The position will be based in Texas, with a preference for Houston or Dallas, and will primarily focus on fundraising for BRIF in the Texas market, although the Regional Director will also engage with donors in other areas of the Southwest. The position requires a candidate with superior relationship skills and demonstrated success in building organizational capacity and increasing revenue. In addition, s/he must have an authentic passion for the mission of Birthright Israel, a track record as an effective major gifts fundraiser, and be an articulate communicator of BRIF's case for support.

This driven self-starter will manage and grow the Southwest Region’s annual campaign. Candidates should have an entrepreneurial approach and thrive in a fast-paced environment. Candidates should also have the capacity to develop and execute fundraising strategies that include identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding individuals, foundations, alumni, and parents of Birthright Israel alumni in the Southwest.

The Southwest Regional Director will report to and work in partnership with the Vice President of the Central Region to design a major gifts strategy aimed at increasing dollars and donors in the region. This position will commence as a work-from-home opportunity and be a part of a three-person Central Region operation that raised over $5.5 million this past year. The Regional Director is expected to grow the campaign by upgrading donors and building relationships with new donors, focusing on those donors with five- and six-figure capacity.

The hiring salary range for this position is $120,000-$140,000.

Opportunities and Challenges:

This position is a unique and compelling opportunity to play a leadership role in resource development for what many views as the most successful engagement program in Jewish life and Israel. With a current national campaign raising over $100 million from 40,000 donors, BRIF's base of support has grown in recent years. However, meeting the growing needs of young Jewish adults who want to take a Birthright Israel trip will require broadening and upgrading the base of support from members of the Jewish community, current supporters, parents of past participants and alumni. This position will concentrate mainly on communities in Texas. It is an excellent opportunity to grow the campaign in an area with much potential, build and manage lay leadership, and identify new major gift donors.

Specific Responsibilties:
  • Build and manage a fundraising portfolio of 100-150 donors and prospects at the $5,000+ level with the expectation of eventually cultivating and soliciting five-to-seven-figure prospects. This includes:
    • Initiating contact and meeting with existing and potential donors;
    • Using moves management to track interactions and create strategies on prospects to pursue;
    • Developing and implementing engagement and cultivation strategies;
    • Soliciting gifts of $5,000 and over from current and prospective donors.
  • Work with the VP, Central Region to identify and qualify prospects and build appropriate strategies to capture individual giving.
  • Build and manage a regional leadership council in Texas.
  • Increase the number of donors and dollars raised in the region year-over-year.
  • Coordinate with the national development team to achieve the organization's fundraising goals.
  • Plan and attend events strategically designed to cultivate new prospective donors and steward existing ones.
  • Utilize the organization's database (Salesforce) to maintain accurate records of donor interactions, individuals' programmatic interests, giving trends, and donor engagement and solicitation strategies.
  • Other tasks and duties that are reasonably related to these job responsibilities.
Qualifications and Skills:
  • Bachelor's degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
  • 5+ years of significant fundraising or related for-profit resource development experience.
  • Experience and comfort working with high-level donors and philanthropists.
  • Familiarity with the Houston, Dallas, and Austin Jewish philanthropic communities.
  • Deep understanding of major gift fundraising principles and moves management.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong self-confidence and high energy, along with a positive and proactive approach.
  • A passion for Jewish engagement and the mission of Birthright Israel. · Self-starter with the ability to work alone and in a team.
  • Keen understanding of donor needs and requirements.
  • Collaborative work style and ability to influence people across, within, and outside the Birthright Israel organization.
  • Solid organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Proficiency working with business technology and donor database systems; Salesforce experience is a plus.
  • Willingness to travel as needed to donor meetings, events, and Foundation summits.

The Values - Birthright Israel Foundation

The Basis: A Gift — Not Merely a Free Trip

Birthright Israel is founded on three values that are central in the Jewish world: Unity, Community and Mutual Responsibility. The project itself is therefore a gift of the Jewish people to its younger members, given with no strings attached as a pledge by the State of Israel, worldwide Jewish communities and nearly 40,000 annual donors all putting partisan and theological differences aside to ensure the vibrant future of world Jewry and the State of Israel.

The Essence: A Jewish Educational Experience in Israel

Birthright Israel is an introductory and intensive educational experience in Israel. Its mission is to create opportunities for participants to explore their Jewish identities, strengthen their connection to Israel and its diverse society, and contribute to the vibrancy of the Jewish people worldwide. Birthright Israel regards Israel as a diverse mosaic of experiences, narratives, ideas and places that can be effectively explored throughout the journey. As we maintain that Israel is a state of ideas and ideals, rather than an ideal state, Birthright Israel is committed to understanding Israel's place as a Jewish, democratic and sovereign state among the family of nations, and to preserving its historic and eternal standing as the homeland of the Jewish people.

The Heart: Each Participant

Birthright Israel is rooted in a person-centered educational approach. It regards "people" as the subject matter of the journey, alongside sites, narratives, ideas and values. Birthright Israel views the needs and interests of young people as the starting point of its educational work, and aims to engage participants in meaningful dialogues with Jewish concepts, values and living, as well as associations with their home communities and with Israel. Birthright Israel is therefore committed to offering all participants a sense of ownership over the educational process, by empowering the active engagement and involvement of the learners as the captains of their ongoing Jewish journeys.

The Community: Unity — Not Uniformity

While seeking to connect young Jewish adults with each other, with their home communities and with Israel, Birthright Israel refrains from any political, ideological and/or religious partisanship in its platform. Their educational journey therefore endorses unity, yet does not seek any uniformity in either opinion or practice. Birthright Israel regards the group experience indispensable to personal identity formation, and therefore strives to build a traveling community of young Jews whose members exercise mutual recognition, tolerance, responsibility and trust, without undermining their diversity. This open, safe and pluralistic culture promotes meaningful dialogues about diverse visions and versions of Jewish living and associations with Israel. All participants are equally welcome to be part of the Birthright Israel experience by voicing their different opinions, irrespective of personal background, ideology, political views, religious beliefs and/or practices, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Journey: Insight-Seeing — Not Merely Site-Seeing

Birthright Israel views the land, the State and the people of Israel as a vital laboratory to explore core questions of both past and contemporary Jewish values, ideas and life. Correspondingly, Birthright Israel's programs are not structured as site-seeing trips, but as what they call "insight-seeing" journeys. The sites they explore are obviously important, yet serve a much higher purpose: to promote a culture of reflective and critical thinking through dialogue, discussion and the exchange of ideas in safe and supportive climates. By shaping the entire journey around such values, Birthright Israel wishes to motivate and elicit an inner quest for each participant and for the group as a whole, toward continued engagement with Jewish concepts, values, communal life and Israel long after their journey ends. Birthright Israel therefore endorses the Less is More approach, which does not seek to overload its itinerary at the expense of "rushed" visits and transitions between activities; rather, it calls for a thoughtful organization of the itinerary to allow each component the needed time to be explored in a manner that offers meaningful engagement, reflection and discussion.

Birthright Israel Foundation - Trip

Applications & Nominations

Don’t check off all the boxes or meet every single requirement? We have learned that potential candidates hesitate when applying for a job unless they meet every single requirement. Boyden Boston is dedicated to inclusivity and valuing diversity and equity in the workplace. If this opportunity excites you, but your background may not be a perfect match, we still encourage you to apply.

Contact Information:

To explore this opportunity further, please send your resume in confidence to:

Wendy Wilsker
Managing Partner, Boston

Wendy Wilsker has dedicated her entire career to the non-profit sector, serving in leadership roles within charitable organizations and working alongside them as an executive recruiter and consultant. She excels at identifying the unique challenges and opportunities non-profits face, and partners with senior leadership to build successful organizational structures, teams and advancement programs.

Tamar Copeland
Executive Search Consultant, United States

Tamar Copeland has more than 20 years of expertise in nonprofit resource development, strategic planning, and organizational management for diverse causes including social and economic justice, International Development, arts and culture, women and girls and academia. Tamar provides consulting services to nonprofit organizations around the world and has served on the executive staff of the The Tenement Museum, The Union for Reform Judaism and the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.

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